My resignation

Chris Lingard chris at
Mon Jul 12 14:52:24 PDT 2004

Matthew Burgess wrote:

> On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 16:41:43 -0400
> Jeremy Huntwork <jhuntwork at> wrote:
>> On Monday 12 July 2004 04:35 pm, Zack Winkles wrote:
>> > Long story short: I give up.  I'm tired of the fighting, the
>> > flaming, the personality conflicts, all of it.  I quit.
>> Where did this come from?  Why have we been losing so many good
>> people? :(
> <warning>Long post below</warning>
> Because I've been ineffective as a "people person".  There have been a
> lot of personality conflicts which have remained off-list (and rightly
> so, IMO).  I've been unable to resolve them, hoping almost that they'd
> somehow magically resolve themselves.  If truth be told, I too was
> nearing the point of resigning, although have managed to fight that
> feeling off for the time being.
> I've been told off-list, by several people, that I'm "too nice" - i.e. I
> don't tell people to behave/shut-up/etc.  To that I'd respond that until
> recently I really didn't think the project needed policing like that.
> When I was asked by Gerard to take on a more "coordinator" like role, I
> had all the best intentions of setting/clarifying policies and/or
> ground-rules in order to try and get everyone (editors and lfs-dev
> followers alike) "singing from the same hymn sheet".  Alas I never got
> around to producing any official docs on that, and I'm not sure they
> would have helped much anyway.
> Additionally, after the last fall-out we lost a few editors, so I
> basically took on the first people that volunteered to perform editing
> tasks.  Whilst *everyone's* work is appreciated, I'm not sure that those
> that volunteered knew the direction of the LFS book (did it/does it even
> have a direction?) and neither did I 'vet' any of the volunteers to
> determine whether what they wanted to contribute to the book would be
> in-keeping with where the book should be going. It was an attempt at
> damage limitation - i.e. simply have enough hands on the pumps to keep
> the project moving, but it appears to have backfired badly, creating
> animosity betweeen a number of people on this list.
> So, what does all that mean?  Well, I'd like to be able to stay on, for
> the time being at least.  More importantly, I really think it's time
> that the LFS Book had a clear statement of direction - exactly what does
> it intend to achieve, and what methods will be used in order to achieve
> it.  To this end I believe that
> (which
> will make it into the book shortly as part of bug #791) will go at least
> some way to resolving this problem.  The way I see it, we need to ensure
> that a) volunteers know what they're volunteering for and b) The project
> takes on those volunteers best suited to helping it reach its goals.
> Without those goals being explicitly stated and easily accessible then I
> don't think we can ever expect to reduce the turnover of staff we've
> experienced recently. Personal agendas will simply get in the way of any
> progress if those goals are not known.
> Anyway, just some food for thought!
> Regards,
> Matt.

I think you need to define this clearly:


The LFS system will be representative of a modern Linux system,
incorporating the latest technology/functionality where it doesn't detract
from the educational value of the book, and it aids in achieving point 4


To me a modern Linux system is the latest packages, (yes Linux-2.6.7),
using udev, hotplug....

To others this might be a bit too unstable.  And we might as well
be educational about the future.

I also disagree with IRC being used for design; it is ideal for
discussion; but proposals should be posted to hackers.

I would hope that having to type a flame<H<H<H<H reply would be less
liable to cause people to leave. (More time to think)

This leaves a problem when there is no agreement as to how to progress.
And democracy does not work in this situation, it must be a development

The problem is that progress cannot depend on what people feel comfortable
with; we might as well have stayed at LFS-3.1

I still think that there must be multiple LFSs, with a hacker version for
the latest and greatest.

But then I have never held an official LFS post.


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